Tag Archives: committed to continuing to deliver solutions that save you time and money

Removing Obstacles and Reducing Risk

“The One-Stop Shop”

HARBEC has evolved to be a one-stop manufacturing solutions provider. We’ve done this to remove obstacles and reduce unnecessary risk for our customers.

The best way to control the quality, performance, price, and longevity of precision parts and components is to integrate all capabilities for part manufacturing under one roof. This model pushes risk to the manufacturer, which is mitigated by providing customers with differentiated values such as:

 

  1. Personal and facilitated process: Save time and cost by having the manufacturer proactively manage the full  process. This results in time savings, precise schedules, shorter lead-times, and faster cycle times.
  1. Manufacturing cost savings: by managing the full manufacturing queue; Take out unnecessary administrative costs and reduce the risk of cost overruns associated with multiple suppliers.
  1. Range of manufacturing options: Finding experts in both prototyping and production will provide  the best solutions to meet tolerance and quality goals for the full project.
  1. Integrated services and solutions: Incorporating “ad-ins” such as “moldflow analysis” on all production tool purchases, is a benefit. Many molders price such services out separately. Incorporation of software tools like SolidWorks Plastics enables the “one-stop shop” to reduce tool prices because toolmakers can more accurately predict tool performance. These solutions also provide a reduction of waste, time, and materials – resulting in higher performing and more sustainable manufacturing processes.
  1. No surprises and guaranteed value: Consistency through one quote, one price, and  guaranteed tool, part quality and performance is found under one roof. At HARBEC there are no surprises along the way. HARBEC guarantees our tool performance and part quality which also translates into guarantees on price and delivery.

 

To achieve lower risk for its customer HARBEC provides a range of options and simple solutions spanning the quoting process, part/product design, manufacturing, and value-added solutions.

One-stop-shop

Reducing manufacturing risks are essential to achieving business growth and success. Although having a large number of suppliers is a way to diversify and mitigate risk, it is not necessarily the best solution for every product. The reliance and management of multiple suppliers can actually add cost and create unpredictable outcomes and unnecessary risks. Every manufacturing requirement and situation is different, and HARBEC has evolved to “right size” the solution(s) to your need(s).

Innovation

For a manufacturing business like Harbec, innovation lies between delivering a value that the customer wants and creating operational value through efficiency and waste reduction. Top line growth for a manufacturing business is generated by accessing and growing new customers. Bottom line growth is enhanced by operating with precision efficiency so that no raw material or natural resource is wasted. Innovation in manufacturing is optimized when the organization can continue to differentiate a value to its customer while doing more with less over time.

INOgraphic

While achieving both ends may seem impossible, that is where innovation comes in. Innovative organizations don’t look at their challenges and cower in fear. Rather, innovative organizations are driven by their values and a conviction for challenging conventional practices.

Harbec has been fortunate to have, since its founding in 1977, a strong discipline in innovation. Harbec has earned a reputation as a precision custom injection molder that delivers innovative solutions for its customers. Getting there has been journey marked by notable advancements in its operations, management systems, and impact on energy and the environment. The visual below presents a sample of the innovations that have taken place at Harbec.

Timeline of Innovation

Innovative organizations have an innate ability to scan the horizon for changes which impact the business environment, and translate their findings into business solutions. Such organizations listen to their customers as they look broadly at shifts in technology, and develop new capabilities which enable them to go beyond with a solution that differentiates their offering to customers. Innovation is all about being able to sense change, and staying two steps ahead. Achieving innovation or becoming “innovative” is not something that happens exclusively with a “Eureka” moment. Although many inventions have resulted from flashes of inspiration from entrepreneurs, the backstory to most examples of invention and innovation are grounded in hard work, discipline, and even failures.

quotes

There is an art and science to innovation, and both disciplines achieve breakthroughs through the determination, grit, and endless pursuit of excellence by those that pursue them. Many people have an image of innovation shaped by flashy marketing and products like the iPhone. The most undervalued aspect of innovation is the disciplined process which yields novel ideas, products, and solutions. Over time, the process of innovation builds a culture, and that becomes the predominant force for business resiliency, competitiveness, and sustainability.

 

So You Need Custom Injection Molded Parts Yesterday…

In our last blog we focused on speed-to-market solutions in prototypes and production machining. We also referenced a Quick Manufacturing Solutions (QMS) process for “managing the queue”, as a means of saving time and resources from design through production and part delivery.

This “one-stop” approach to development of precision molds and tools and production injection molding is highly valued. Our QMS process does not stop at model making and rapid prototyping. We help “manage the queue” with value-added materials selection and sourcing, design for manufacturing, secondary operations, and logistics support services. With a focus on customer solutions Harbec is always looking to improve our equipment, capabilities, and ability to provide tightly tolerance precision parts with 100% on-time delivery.

If you require mold making and production our proprietary QMS methods will provide rapid tooling which also reduces the time for mold making and the cycle time in production. This will save valuable time resulting in a reduction in total life-cycle manufacturing costs for the part. The QMS process enables our customers to be more agile and achieve their speed-to-market objectives.

A flexible approach to mold making leads master toolmakers to be experts in the use of cutting edge process equipment as they continually develop their craftsmanship and know-how to construct conventional steel molds or aluminum bridge tools. This deep cross-functional expertise required of toolmakers plus flexibility in design, equipment capabilities, materials, and skills allows for the best value molds and tools in the quickest amount of time.

Focusing on improving time to market needs and having awareness that most product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter is critical.  To address both of these trends Harbec has developed what we call “hybrid” tooling solutions.  The hybrid solution balances strong structural steel with easily machined, very thermally conductive and extremely strong aluminum alloys designed specifically for production injection molds.  This combination gives an advantage on lead-time while also offering a tremendous advantage for reducing costs for the mold and parts due to improved cycle times.  Harbec has been working with a variety of aluminum alloys for more than 15 years and we are experts at providing affordable solutions, within a very short lead-time, combined with outstanding quality.

Approximately 60% of our production molds are made from aluminum. Aluminum has been a choice for many customers as it offers benefits for reducing the time to contrast the mold to the cycle time within the injection molding machine (aluminum has superior thermal conductivity which give us 25-40% faster molding cycles). In fact, aluminum molds can be achieved, on average, for half the machining costs of steel molds. Further, aluminum molds can be completed in two to four weeks instead of 10-14 weeks which is customary with steel. Additionally, the tolerances and molding quality of the same plastics are equal with aluminum as with steel. 

Advantages of Aluminum

Material Cost Lead Time Rated Cycles
QC10Aluminum Lowest 2–5 weeks 25,000 – +100,000¹
P20Tool Steel Midpoint 6–8 weeks +500,000
H13Tool Steel Highest 8–13 weeks +1,000,000

¹Rated Cycles – determined by:  part geometry; texturing; shut-offs; draft; material abrasiveness.

The art of planning and proactive project management are essential to success. Integrated teams provide customers with the best talent and know-how for their challenges.  To achieve short lead times Harbec uses only six mold-block sizes which can accommodate most any mold design and configuration our diversity of customers have required over the years. Those blocks are pre-machined and stored them for quick access. Having an inventory of materials like this can save critical minutes, hours, and days during a project. It is this kind of thinking and pre-planning that earns new business, and trusted partnerships in the manufacture of precision tools and molds and custom injection molded parts.

We frequently receive quotes for conventional and bridge tooling with very short lead times. Harbec understands the speed of business is dynamic and requires partners that can provide fast turn-around not just on quotes, but also on finished product. Contact us today to discover the power difference Harbec can make to your custom molds and injection molded parts.

Meeting the Challenges of 2014 and Beyond

As 2014 is officially upon us, we at HARBEC would like to thank our customers for their loyalty and trust, as we look ahead to another great year, and many more.

We’d also like to remind our clients, both old and new, that we believe your time is truly valuable, and as such, are committed to continuing to deliver solutions that save you time and money. We were one of the first rapid injection molding firms in the industry, having published our Quick Manufacturing Solutions (QMS) methods back in 1995. Our thoroughly researched and proven QMS provide rapid delivery on short- to medium-run parts of any material, without ever sacrificing quality.

These QMS methods offer rapid delivery with significant cost savings, high-quality first-run parts, reduced cycle times, less-stressed parts, and many more advantages—including access to our dedicated staff who are always happy to work closely with customers.

While focusing on quality and customer satisfaction is our number one priority, we also believe that this can and should be done in a socially-conscious, sustainable manner- at no additional cost to the customer. Our mission is to deliver high value  solutions while fostering respect for our environment, the global community, and everyone with whom we work. In fact, you can see how in our new mission video.

Our mission video isn’t the only new thing we’ve been working on introducing. Over the past year, our endeavors have included increased marketing efforts that are both concise and solutions-based, showcasing our ideals and our thought leadership. As of January, 2014, we will be sharing monthly newsletters, and will continue to bring these, along with regular videos to you, our dedicated customers/readers.

We’ve enjoyed meeting and exceeding any challenges that have come our way; no part is too small, no product is unmoldable, and no question is too tough. We invite you to continue to challenge us, and we welcome any and all questions, requests, and feedback going forward.

Happy New Year—we know it will be a great one.